Share Plate Top Five: Foodie TV Shows Share Plate Top Five: Foodie TV Shows

Share Plate Top Five: Foodie TV Shows

By Share Plate

Share Plate Top Five: Foodie TV Shows Share Plate Top Five: Foodie TV Shows

Sick of true crime and repeats of Friends? We've got a new binge list for you! Our team has compiled the Share Plate Top Five Foodie TV Shows:

 

#5: The Mind of a Chef

Over the course of six seasons, the Mind of a Chef has done more to showcase the inner workings of process in commercial kitchens than any other show we know of.

 

Hosted by a succession of chefs such as Dave Chang, Gabrielle Hamilton and Magnus Nilsson, each series is a constant look at the exploration of how taste is developed and how food is made, with the hosts personal lives weaved throughout their experiences and influences.

That's the key to the Mind of a Chef: while you watch dishes being prepared you are being pulled in with the other side – a heady mix of great insight into personal history, nostalgic memory and professional curiosity. Perfect for a binge.

Where to watch it:
  • You can watch the first 5 seasons through the PBS website, and the recent season 6 is available through Facebook Watch. 

 

#4: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Here's the thing – we aren't interested in the negativity surrounding Guy Fieri. If you don't like his style or his restaurants, that's ok. For our team, it's more that over 31 (!) seasons, he has travelled through the US, showcasing neighbourhood joints that create everything (or as much as they can) from scratch.

 

That means local producers and suppliers are always connected, it means a lot of time and effort is spent in the kitchen preparing food in an honest way, and it also means a lot of satisfied regular customers - which is what all neighbourhood and regional restaurants should be striving for.

Triple-D is gloriously anti-elitist, as well as endlessly entertaining. Get on board and take a ride to Flavourtown. 

Where to watch it:
  • Those with Foxtel and the Food Network will catch regular episodes, but if not, it's easy to find segments and bootleg episodes on Youtube.

 

#3: Escape to River Cottage

 

For a lot of us, moving away from the city or suburbs to an idyllic farm where we would have the time (and patience) to raise animals, grow vegetables, and generally potter is the dream. For Hugh Fearnsley-Whittingstall, a British chef trained in classical French cuisine, it became a reality as he packed up his family and moved them to Axminster, on the outskirts of Devon in South-Western England.

What follows is a chronicle of rural life, with all of the setbacks and triumphs on display. We watch as Hugh battles the local weather, the land, cheeky animals, pesky pests, growing his small holding over time, all in the pursuit of a sustainable lifestyle focused around real food. Along the way, we meet Hugh's neighbours, he cooks rustic dishes and nobody every goes hungry.

The message here is perfect: there are ample opportunities for us to live locally, supporting small business and enjoying the seasonal treats that come from the land. We all get caught up in the madness of day-to-day life. River Cottage is a great break of escapism delivered with a bit of British charm. 

Where to watch it:
  • You'll have to hunt down physical copies of River Cottage - to our knowledge, it isn't on offer through any streaming or subscription services anymore. 

 

#2: Chef's Table

Netflix is producing food media at a rapid rate, and while we could have included Salt Fat Acid Heat (Samin Nosrat, we love you) or Cooked or Ugly Delicious or the Chef Show (all worth a watch), the team ended up with Chef's Table, where a ridiculously high production value is able to capture the world's finest restaurants and restauranteurs.

The credit sequence sums up the content perfectly: precision and passion. Vivaldi's Four Seasons plays intensely over a quickly cut montage from the top dining rooms on Earth. This is the best of the best. 

While there are times when the series verges into art gallery territory, the level of creativity in process shown is where Chef's Table is able to make it's mark. Honing in on the people behind these restaurants, what drives them and how their mind works, is integral in giving insight to how their vision comes together - from the kitchen to the floor to the team to the dishes themselves.   

Where to watch it:
  • Six seasons are available on Netflix.

 

#1: Parts Unknown

 

"We can't include this AND Triple-D" 

Well, yes we can. It's no secret the contempt Tony Bourdain had for, well, a lot of people in food media - but looking past the arrogance, he was a humbly charming presenter and a hell of a writer.

His program A Cook's Tour was a good bridge into television but still very raw. Following that came No Reservations, which cemented him as the heir apparent to Hunter S Thompson while also showing an experiential side to food programming that became his signature.

But it was with Parts Unknown where he cemented his legacy as a cultural icon – due to his focus on immersive cultural experiences. Watching him travel the world and experiencing food in the context of people and place became engrossing like never before.

The best stories are those told through moments and exchanges which give us insight. With Parts Unknown, Tony showed us how food is an incredible part of human culture. 

 

Where to watch it:
  • CNN on Foxtel shows recurring episodes each week.